Summary:

Ichigo wakes up in a mysterious world facing a Zaraki Kenpachi that is ready to kill him. In the real world, the almost completely Hollow form of Ichigo is now fighting against the Vizard named Love. Watching from outside the force field, Kensei tells Lisa that out of their group, Hiyori took the longest to do this with a time of 69 minutes and 2 seconds. In comparison, Ichigo has already taken 68 minutes and 44 seconds. Back inside the mysterious world, Ichigo tries to tell Zaraki that their fight is already over, but Zaraki asserts that a fight isn’t over until only one person is left standing and that you don’t need a reason to fight. Zaraki claims that Ichigo wants to fight and wants power – they were born that way. With Zaraki urging him to fight and memories of his past battles filling his mind, Ichigo finally regains his senses in the sideways world and pulls the sword out of his abdomen. He proceeds to stab through Hollow Ichigo with it, and it turns Hollow Ichigo black, just like him. Hollow Ichigo decides to let Ichigo be king for now, but he warns that if Ichigo lets down his guard even a little, he’ll crush Ichigo. He also says that if Ichigo wants to control his real power, then Ichigo needs to stay alive until his Hollow side appears again. While this had been going on, the Hollow Ichigo in the real world had been charging up a Cero blast to fire at Love, but it never came because the internal fight ended. Following a large explosion, the real Ichigo sheds the Hollow skin and falls to the ground soon after. He tells Shinji that it doesn’t feel bad, and then tells himself that he won’t let his Hollow side crush him.

Inoue is meanwhile coming back from school while trying to keep from being depressed about Ichigo not showing up. She thinks about going out for snacks with Tatsuki, but then remembers that Tatsuki hasn’t been energetic recently either. When she gets home, she finds that Hitsugaya and Rangiku have installed a special giant television screen in her apartment that allows them to communicate with Soul Society. Using it, Hitsugaya contacts Yamamoto and learns that the Aizen’s true objective has been confirmed. Ukitake had been investigating the Great Library of Spirits when he discovered a document unrelated to the Hougyoku that Aizen had accessed. This document had been about the ouken – the key of the royal family. Inoue doesn’t know what they’re talking about, so Rangiku and Yamamoto explain that there is a king of Soul Society who has a symbolic and absolute existence. This king lives in a different dimension inside of Soul Society, and the key opens up that dimension. From all of this, Yamamoto has concluded that Aizen intends to kill the king, but it’s more complicated than that. The location of the key is only orally passed down between generations of the commanders of the Gotei 13, so there are no written records. What Aizen had been looking at was the way to create the key, and this requires 100,000 souls along with a juureichi – a place in the real world that is a spiritual singularity. This places turns out to be none other than Karakura Town, and if Aizen completes a key in the way the documents say to, then everything around there would be wiped out forever.

Fortunately, the Gotei 13 are here to stop him, and they have four months before the Hougyoku awakens completely. Until then, Aizen can’t get his units in order and move out. Yamamoto estimates that the decisive battle will be fought this winter, so they need to train and prepare for it. He also specifically asks for the help of Inoue and everyone in the real world, so he wants her to go tell Ichigo. After Inoue runs out, Rangiku leaves too to go tell Ikkaku, but Yamamoto stops Hitsugaya from going with her because there’s someone who’s been waiting to speak with him: Hinamori. At this time, Renji is training Sado and Ryuuken is training his son as Inoue hurries her way towards Ichigo.

Preview

I always thought that Aizen was a really cool bad guy up to this point. Or rather, I should say that he still is cool, but I think this whole plot to kill the king of Soul Society sounded really stupid. I always thought Aizen was just trying to get stronger, past what he could do as a Shinigami. Maybe it’ll make more sense if and when Aizen’s past and motivations become clearer. I also suspect that overthrowing the king can’t only be the only thing that Aizen’s after.
Overall, I liked how this episode showed Ichigo’s inner battle in parallel with the outer battle with the other Vizard (in the manga the two were put in different chapters). However, I thought the episode ended rather weakly. They should have either never showed Hinamori, or the episode should have ended right when we saw her face. Either way would have created more anticipation going into next week’s episode.

37 Comments

  1. never liked the look of the full version of Ichigo’s hollow mask. Hate it even more now its in colour…just doesnt look evil enough…oh well episode looks good xD
    (the half mask rocks though :P)

    Badgerman
  2. well I dun think there would be filler or anything offside mainstory, or at least they should finish Orihime arce first ( since they already did the OP ). maybe after that they (might) can add filler or whatever in bewteen. 😡

    champoo
  3. I don’t think they will ever separate the Anime from the Manga, if they do then bleach is dead. Nobody wants to watch their filler shit. They should have introduced another filler arc right after the bount(sp?) arc before starting this one or just taken a break, they started way too early and this is the result.
    At least now that they are animating the actual Manga the quality should be much higher, which unfortunately is NOT the case. They are so goddamn confused they don’t even know what they want to do in each episode.

    Myst
  4. @myst – What kind of quality are you talkin about? The quality in most of these eps has been higher then it ever has been thankyou. And the people who dont care about the anime’s “filler shit” are the people who dont want to bother reading the manga, the anime is there as an adaption, and its not there for you to nitpick at every damn thing that you dont like.

    Inuhanyou
  5. I bet naruto and bleach will have new filler arcs…Naruto with that ” too short” manga volumes and bleach as well will be cought up very very fast for sure!!!
    But it´s amazing to see how a shounen action like this(bleach of course) can have such a nice story so involving and with a nice pace!!!
    At least they won´t put here a crap whole f….cking year of good for nothing fillers as they did with you know what ” AND yes that´s waste of DVDS ” 😀

    tensai_otaku
  6. @Inuhanyou…Everyone is intitled to their own opinion… some think the anime is killing the manga with its lack of quality, raw action, and good voices, and the fillers(such as myself). while others think “its the best its ever been!” A-A-BULLSHIT! bless me… so lay off calling people out, if you don’t like their opinion then SKIP it, like I do the fillers !

    HAHAHA
  7. i bet aizen is after something totally different then what they think he is. They showed how he was one of the most intelligent if not the most intelligent captian, so i doubt that thats what he is really after. (if it was it would be really lame)

    zoozoz
  8. Does the 1209 on the stopwatch indicate the date cuz if it is, then they messed up by having it as Decemeber 9th and it definately couldn’t mean September 12th even though it would be more obvious, but thats 2-3 months before winter when it is really suppose to be 4 months before winter (show-wise).

    CE3
  9. @miyavi
    Show Spoiler ▼

    @knowngni
    Yeah, there was a whole chapter on it. It’s the whole underlying issue at this stage in the manga (preventing aizen from making the key), aside from the current thing ichigo & co. are doing.

    @CE3
    Maybe 12:09 PM, wouldn’t make sense for a wristwatch to show the date in timer mode rather than the current time 😛

    blud
  10. I think the king think still needs more explaining, he might be hiding something not even Soul Society knows about – but does Aizen? Anyways, if the colored mask didn’t look too scary on him, I think his full hollow form was a blast and the mask really blended in 🙂 – though yes a “half mask” is cooler than that full mask.

  11. @Paul I do sorta agree…but then again when hes in that hollow form thing his mask still aint fully formed ^^ also it would of looked even cooler if it was his shikai the hollow was holding rather than the bankai…big sword make hollow look cool..little sword make him look silly ^^

    Badgerman
  12. This ep was good, much more so than the last one. Kenpachi’s lecture was nicely portrayed and, as a manga reader, I agree that they could have finished the ep with more of a cliffhanger. Here’s a random thought, just imagine how strong kenpachi would be if he had a shikai let alone a bankai! He can already defeat people who use bankai.

    Chado
  13. verry cool episode but dint like that the vizard dint need there masks to fight ichogos hollow form, it makes ichogos hollow look verry weak
    there are a few verry weard things i noticed when ichigo’s hollow falls off, the mask on ichogo and the hollow are different and there are 2 mask why? and why does the part of the hollow that falls of have hare i thought it was still ichigos hare why does it come with the mask to:P

    Boukebankai
  14. *coughcough* DBZ much… plotwise I mean its like you must continue training until the evil guy comes to power… who did they do that for? freeza, cell, boo, etc. I mean I knew that the creator likes DBZ, but to like rip them off… its just a sweatdrop.

    Saruko

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